Wednesday, December 31, 2014

the end is near

Here it is, the last post of 2014.  It's been another eventful year around here with WE graduating from high school and going into the Marines and Angel #1 leaving the Marines and starting a new chapter in Miami going to college and finally getting himself a girlfriend.  Angel #4 getting her drivers license and her first job and Angel #2 getting not one, but two dogs (more on that later).  Hubs has spent over 110 days out of town on various jobs, getting real success with his public speaking and stand up comedy stuff along with new business opportunities coming his way.  As for me...well, I read a bunch of books and got a sports injury (more on that later, too).

Last night was Angel #1's last night home, he left early this morning.  In a great, unplanned moment of travel karma, Rent-a-Grandma and her daughter flew out of the local airport on Dec 25, actually getting on the exact airplane that hubs and Angel #1 were getting off from on their flight home from Hawaii.  So grandma & her daughter spent the night at our house and we had a great time together and the next morning they drove to the airport and handed off their car keys to hubs who took her car back to our house, so her new car didn't have to spend a week alone in airport parking. This worked out especially great because this morning Angel #1's flight left at 6 am, so he drove himself in grandmas car, locked the keys in and the car was there waiting for grandma when her flight arrived back home a couple hours later.  How's that for perfect?  WE flies out on the 6am flight on Saturday, sadly though, someone here (hubs, not me) has to get out of bed and drive him to the airport.  WE's a little bummed out because his girlfriend left for Paris on the 25th and she'll be returning on Sunday, so he didn't get to spend as much time with her on his leave as he would have liked.  But life works that way sometimes.

Since it was #1's last night home, we decided to do something as a family and bowling became the activity of choice.  #1 does a lot of bowling in Miami and #4 goes bowling with friends occasionally, but the rest of us hadn't been on an alley in years.  We had a family bowling tournament, hubs had an old trophy he bought at a thrift store for some reason and sharpied the words #1 Bowler on the plaque, best bowling score won the trophy.  We decided to bowl 3 games, 1st game was a warm-up the the best score of the last two games won the award.  We're all pretty sucky  bowlers, so hubs score of 115 got the prize.  About the 2nd frame of the third game, I tossed Gene (my bowling ball) down the alley and something went wonky in my hip.  I ended up walking with a limp the rest of the night and finished the game with a whopping score of 66.  I'm calling it my first sports injury.

Now, for Angel #2's dog story.  Back this spring she got a little Pomeranian dog.  It was an old dog, I think maybe 14 or 15 years old.  She knew it was sick and has maybe a year to live which was perfect for her intentions.  She'd been thinking about getting a dog, but didn't know if she wanted to make the commitment to taking care of a dog with her schedule.  Well, she learned that she's more a cat person than a dog one and was biding her time until Lucky the dog met his maker.  But this week someone brought a Chihuahua into the hospital in birthing distress.  They'd bred it with a larger male and the puppies were much too big for her.  They managed to save the mother, though both puppies died and the mother needed to be spayed.  Since her wonderful owners only wanted her for breeding purposes, they were going to have the dog, who isn't much more than a puppy herself, put down.  #2 intervened and claimed responsibility for the dog so they wouldn't have to kill her and now she's got a dog she doesn't know what to do with.  If anyone here in Wisconsin is willing to pay the $125 for it to hitch a ride home with Angel #4 when she goes to visit #2 at the end of January, they can have themselves an adorable little dog who just got a second chance at life.  Let me know if you're interested.

So anyway, that's all the news that's fit to print for the moment.  Everyone have a safe and happy new year and see you in 2015!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Silent night? Not around here

Both my little boys are home and boy, did the noise level ratchet up!  They started wrestling as soon as #1 walked in the door and, no lie, within a half an hour, WE was literally unconscious on the floor.  Fortunately he revived right away, but was disoriented for about 5 minutes.  Dumb boys.  Angel #4's boyfriend is getting the whole big brother treatment from the boys, poor kid.  I've had kids in and out of the house for the last week.  The other day, I had 2 of my kids, 3 random teenaged girls and the LP gas delivery guy all here at the same time....7:30 in the morning.  Things are a little nuts, but it's a good nuts.  I'm glad my kids are home, though since the other three are here, I'm really missing Angel #2.  Oh well, maybe this summer I'll have all my babies home again.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's quiet here...a might too quiet, I'd say

Hubs is in Hawaii and Angel #4 is either working or running around with friends or her boyfriend.  It was practically a treat to have her home alone with me all day Sunday.  She's off to the basketball game tonight and it's really quiet around here.  Usually I don't mind being alone, but it's been a little lonely around here lately.  I know that's all going to change really soon.  WE comes home on Friday night and will be here until January 3.  Hubs comes home on the 25th and Angel #1 will be with him and will be here until the 31st.  So both my boys are going to be home together.  I'm looking forward to it like I usually do, but I also know that within a day those two and their constant wrestling around and one upmanship is going to drive me completely nuts and I'll be saying "isn't it time for you two to go back where you came from?"  #1 is going to be working in Hawaii with hubs this week and is in the process of flying out there right now.  He had a 3.5 hour layover in Houston, so Angel #2 picked him up and the two of them went to the Waffle House for breakfast.  #2 posted pictures of the two of them on Facebook.  I'm so glad my kids like getting together like that.  It seems like just yesterday they were arguing and locking each other out of the house.

Friday night I was home alone again and I texted my friend Connie with the simple message:  "I've got a jigsaw puzzle and a bottle of Riesling, come on over."  Well, she did and we had a great evening snacking, drinking wine and doing a puzzle together.  The problem is, we both get a little obsessive when we're doing puzzles.  She came over around 7:30.  Around 9:30 #4 came home with some friends and then headed out the door again.  Soon after #4 texted me saying they were on their last game of bowling and she'd be home soon.  I couldn't figure out why she was telling me this until she got home and I realized that it was after midnight and she knew she was going to miss her curfew.  I have no idea how it got to be midnight so quickly.  Then, the next thing I know, Connie's daughter called wondering where the heck she was since it was 2 o'clock in the morning!  I really really don't know where the time went, I suspect we were abducted by aliens.  We only had about one or two glasses of wine each, so it wasn't that.  And we didn't get the stupid puzzle done that night either!  I finally finished it up the next day.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter is definitely here

Almost a whole month has gone by with nothing written by me.  Slacker

Thanksgiving was nice.  We had a couple from our church over as well as Rent-a-Grandma.  Instead of turkey, we had chicken because there are about 2 dozen of the cluckers in my freezer and I really would like to have my freezer back.  Things went well and everyone left around 4.  We got a call from WE and chatted with him a bit, then shortly after we hung up, we got a call from Rent-a-grandma.  Her trip back home wasn't as uneventful as we would have liked and she ended up in a car accident.  Someone turned in front of her as she was going through an intersection and she kind of t-boned his car.  It was totally the other guys fault, but that didn't stop Grandmas car from getting totaled.  Fortunately, Grandma was okay and she's now in the market for a new car.  The last three times she's gotten a new car, she's told me that it was probably going to be the last car she ever bought and she keeps proving herself wrong.  Here's hoping she'll go through many many more new cars before her time is done.

Angel #4 got her first job last week and yesterday was her first day.  She's going to be a cashier at our local grocery store.  Her first day on the job got a little messed up because of the weather.  The roads were awful and she ended up in the ditch about 2 miles from the house on her way home.  She's okay and the car was okay.  I'm really proud of the way she kept her head during the situation.  She knew that hubs and I weren't home so wouldn't be much help so she called her boyfriend who lives a couple miles away and arranged for him and his dad to come and pull her out before she even called us.  That girl sure can take control of a situation.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

I don't care what the calendar says, it's now officially winter in my book

Tanya, I'm glad I'm not the only one that gets a little depressed by the American Dream song.  I don't feel old, but society keeps telling me its happening.  Stupid society.

There have been a lot of young people deaths recently that keep reminding me that a persons time can come at any time.  I saw in the obituaries about a month ago that a 22 year old young man died.  I didn't know him, but recognized the name.  His parents were in the same Lamaze class as us when Angel #1 was in the works and this kid was only about 2 weeks younger than my little boy.  I don't know the circumstances, but it was just an unfriendly reminder that we're not guaranteed to live longer than our children.  That reminder reared its ugly head again yesterday when I learned of a fatal car accident that happened less than 2 miles from our house.  Two young guys, 21 & 23 were killed, one of whom I believed graduated with Angel #2.  Angel #4 was at an overnight school event with one of the boys brothers and the poor kid came home from a fun event only to find out that his big brother was dead.  A 43 year old member of our local school board also died last week.  So many young people dying when they should have had a long life ahead of them yet.  Time and chance happens to us all.

Angel #4 had her first driving in snow experience last night.  She went to a school dance and said she did a bit of skidding on the drive home. I hate snow and get so nervous both when I'm driving in it and when I know one of my kids is out driving in it.  Since it wasn't a lot of snow and chances are it'll melt soon, they only plowed the main roads and left all the back roads alone.  Here's hoping for some sun to melt that stuff away, though from what I can see, we're not supposed to have a day above freezing until Saturday, so it may be awhile.

WE is all settled in at his new base in Missouri.  He said its in the middle of nowhere and he's not liking the cold spending the last few months in beautiful San Diego weather.  It's a mixed base of both Marines and Army and he said the Army guys were told to stay away from the Marines because they're crazy.  Army is also considered lower than the Marines, so he said he's experienced soldiers older than him running ahead to open doors for him.  Needless to say, he's enjoying the experience.  He's also seeing firsthand that there is a definite difference between Army and Marines.  The base where he's at also is where the army holds boot camp and he said they share a chow hall with those guys.  He's shocked to see the recruits in boot camp talking, laughing and on their cell phones during their meals "just like they're regular people, mom!"  When he was in basic, not only did they have their phones taken away the minute they arrived at camp, they also had about 5 minutes to eat and not only did they not have time to socialize, they wouldn't dare as that would be a sure disciplinary action.  WE tells the story where he got caught smuggling ice cream in his cup of milk and when asked why he did it, he responded "because this recruit likes ice cream, sir!".  He then spent the whole meal time having to tell his drill instructor all the other things besides ice cream that he like, he said the list was getting pretty ridiculous by the time the guy finally let him go and he got about 30 seconds to wolf down as much food as he could.  So yeah, chatting with someone on a cell phone wasn't really an option.  I guess that's why they're called the few and the proud, there just aren't that many people nuts enough to join up.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Getting old sucks enough without having to drag Jack & Diane into it

I've noticed something about popular music that kind of says something about today's generation and  I got it full force on my way home from work today.  Angel #4 is jealous of people my age for getting to be teenagers in the 80's.  Though I didn't realize it at the time, looking back now, the 80's were a great time to be a teen.  We had John Hughes, Ronald Reagan, Eddie Murphy (R-rated, not todays PG version), tight-rolled jeans and some really incredible hair.  The mid-80's were pretty much the peak of the glam age - I had hot-pink mascara for pete's sake!  Like #4 says, the 80's were cool, nobody says they wish they were a teenager in the 90's.  Our music was pretty awesome too.  For the most part it was pretty optimistic and, I'll admit, rather self-centered, but that's what the 80's were all about.

Fast-forward to today.  We've got All About That Bass and Secrets (I don't care if the world knows what my secrets are) which is all about, this is who I am, like it or lump it, suckers.  Sorry, that stuff just didn't fly when I was in high school.  You did NOT go to school in your pajamas, you DID comb your hair daily (and applied about 2 lbs of Aquanet) and no matter what Madonna wore onstage, people did NOT see your bra straps out in public.  #4 looks back in envy of the days when people made an effort before going out in public.  I'm not saying everyone should plaster on the make-up and spend an hour on their hair every day, but fresh clothes and a shower certainly shouldn't be out of line.  But then when I think about the other song I heard on the radio today and I understand their look of defeat.  Yes, it was the dreaded American Dream.  The song that states that it's "not the same summer song that you used to know, Jack left Diane 30 years ago."  Jack and Diane are MY people and they need to keep them out of their depressing little ditties.  J & D were all about making plans for the future, doing something with themselves, having dreams; to drag them into a song whining about whatever happened to the American Dream is just depressing us all.  No wonder teenagers can't seem to find the energy to get out of their pajamas in the morning if all they think they have to look forward to is just surviving life.  Okay, bitter middle-aged rant over.  Now I've got to go get my broom and tell those rotten kids to get off of my lawn.

On a totally unrelated note.  We've really got to get the curtains up in the living room.  With the big patio door in the middle of the wall and all the people out there shining deer down our road, I feel like I"m in a big fish bowl, or that alien zoo episode of the Twilight Zone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Another parental last....YAY!

Angel #4, my baby, turned 16 on Monday.  Today, after 2 1/2 hours in the DMV, she received her driver's license.  That's it for me.  No more teaching kids how to drive.  No more temporary license restrictions.  No more having to go everywhere with my kid so they can get more driving practice.  Done.  Over.  She did really well on the behind the wheel test as well, only losing one point out of a possible max of 25, and she feels he just docked her the point so she wouldn't get a perfect score, because when she told the girl in line next to her why she got a point off, that girl said she never even looked in her mirrors while #4 was told she was supposed to check surrounding traffic  in her mirrors every 6-8 seconds.  Sounds a little nit-picky to me, but who cares?  She got her license!!  She's already made plans for the weekend.  I may never see my car again, but at least I don't have to haul her to the mall anymore.

In other wonderful news, the carpet was laid in our living room and new family room yesterday.  The guy finished around 5pm and as soon as #4, WE's girlfriend & I got home from belly dancing class, we moved the furniture back in the rooms and it looks great and feels so roomy after being crammed in the dining room for the last 3 months.

Yesterday was the last belly dance class.  I'd like to say we all improved drastically over the course of 6 weeks....but I can't, because we all still looked as uncoordinated the 6th week as we did the 1st, though Angel #4 caught on pretty well and could do the moves much better than the rest of us.  Next adventure?  Yoga

Friday, October 10, 2014

it's been a month already?

Okay, this is what's happened since I last wrote:

Life is fine
Went to San Diego for a weekend to watch WE graduate Basic Training
WE is now a Marine
The new Marine is currently home on leave and getting bored and ready to go back to work
The living room still isn't done being remodeled

I guess that's it.  Look at all the time I could save by only doing monthly recaps rather than writing something every week.

Oh, we did do something fun in San Diego.  WE's girlfriend and I flew out and met hubs, his dad & Angel #1 for the basic training graduation.  WE hasn't seen any of us since he left back in July.  I told his girlfriend that he was going to hug her first and she seemed to think that because I was his mother, I'd get the first hug.  So I devised a plan.  When the guys were dismissed and allowed to come over to their families finally, all of us stood in a long line and nobody could move, so WE had to make the decision who was going to get first hugs. (yeah, I'm kind of mean that way)  He took one look at us and knew what we were doing and said: are you really going to do this to me??  I was right, the girlfriend got the first hug, which is fine, I'm sure she missed him more than I did.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

back in the swing of things...sort of

Things are sort of back to normal now with school going on.  One of my coworkers husbands is fighting cancer and she has to take every Thursday & Friday off to bring him to doctor appointments, so we've had to bring in substitutes for her, then this week, another ones mother died, so we've had to fill in for her as well. It makes things a little chaotic since I have to adjust my work hours to do the stuff they'd normally be doing but that makes it so I don't get much of my work done, and I haven't been able to catch up on that stuff since school started.  When I walked in that first day, there were huge piles of papers & files on my desk I needed to deal with, I still haven't gotten to the bottom of those piles, or my emails either, for that matter.  Oh well, I'll catch up eventually, at least I know I'm needed.

Last night was our first belly dancing class.  Over Labor Day weekend, I went to a local art festival with a couple friends.  One of the demonstrations was for a belly dancing school.  The three of us stood there for a little bit watching the dancers, then someone (I KNOW it wasn't me) said that we should give it a try.  We discussed it for a bit, then one of the dancers came running over to hand us a brochure saying that it looked like we really wanted to learn to belly dance.  So, with that little nudge, we signed ourselves up and were committed.  I talked Angel #4 into joining us while WE's girlfriend got talked into it by her mother.  A few more friends also got talked into it and by next week, there should be 7 of us in our belly dancing posse.  Though I did make the observation that it looks more like we're doing the hokey-pokey than belly dancing, but I'm hoping we all get a bit better as time goes on.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

final bash of summer

Angel #4 is having the final summer bash before the dreaded school starts.  There are about 8 teens in my yard having a fire and for some reason, they also have badminton rackets, hula hoops and a frisbee.  I don't know and am not going to ask.  She pulled a real coup by getting the cute new boy in school over here, so that'll give her a few extra points.  The fact that he's a junior and drives just has added cachet.  All the girls are spending the night here, which means that somewhere, 4 girls are going to have to find a place to sleep.  They usually all just crash in the living room, but since that is still under repair, I'm not exactly what they're going to do.  Oh well, not my problem.  That's one of the nice things about your kids getting older, you don't have to be all responsible for feeding and taking care of their friends when they come over.  I just go to bed and the next day find out they were making waffles at 3am.  Whatever.

Friday night was the first home football game of the season.  And what a game it was!  Probably the most stressful game I've ever been to.  Our team was one touchdown behind during most of the 2nd half, only to make a touchdown in the last 45 seconds of the game.  The crowd went wild.  But we weren't done yet.  The opposing team then managed to get a touch down with only 16 seconds left on the clock.  Talk about a bunch of dejected Panther's fans.  But our dejection turned out to be premature.  With 4.3 seconds left on the clock,  there was one last chance to make a touchdown, and wouldn't you know it - they did.  A 1 handed catch with 0 seconds left on the clock.  The bleachers were shaking and I still had a sore throat an hour afterwards from all the cheering I did.  It was a good night.

Angel #1 found a place to live in Miami and will be moving in on Tuesday.  I'm sure that's a big load off his mind...as well as his friend Jesse's mom's mind.  That admirable woman has hosted 3 Marines in her house for the last 2 weeks while the boys were trying to find a place to live.  She deserves a medal.

Friday, August 29, 2014

our days of freedom are numbered

We're counting down to the end of summer and school beginning.  Tuesday, sept 2 is the big day.  Angel #4 isn't particularly excited, though they got a "hot new business teacher" so she's looking forward to computer class.  She decided that freshman and senior years are the ones you look forward to and sophomore and junior years are just fillers, so she's got 2 years of filler to look forward to.

I haven't seen much of #4 since I picked her up at the airport Sunday night.  We went to McDonalds on the way home and I don't think I've had a chance to talk to her since, she's been out with friends and doing overnighters trying to get the last precious drops of summer.  I thought we'd at least be in the car at the same time on the way to the football game tonight, but now it looks like she's babysitting instead, so I'm on my own there too.  I'm hoping my friend Kim will be at the game, she usually doesn't miss any because her son's on the team, but he dislocated his shoulder and did some real damage during practice, so he's out for the season.  It's his senior year, so it especially sucks.  We've only got about 5 seniors on the entire football team, so missing even one creates a pretty big hole.  Kim might be too bummed to watch the game.  Rumor has it that her son's shoulder might sideline him not only for football, but for wrestling as well, which is an even bigger blow.  He took 1st place in state last year in  his weight class and was really looking to take over this year as well.  Since this is a  pretty big wrestling town, a long-term injury would devastate the whole town-at least the wrestling portion, which is a pretty big segment.  I've been to more than one wrestling tournament where our bleacher crowd was double the size of the home town crowd.  We take our wrestling pretty seriously around here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

All's Fair

Yesterday I went to the county fair.  I met my friend Sarah there and we watched her daughter compete with her horse, then we wandered through the animal barns, walked the midway and watched the animal auction.  We both did admirably and avoided the worst of the fair food and had gyros instead of a deep fried anything on a stick.  I feel I deserve extra points for not buying deep-fried cookie dough, my main disgusting fair food downfall.  Sarah had to leave early so I ended up by myself at the fair that evening and considered going home, but then I heard the roar of the stock car races and knew I had to let my inner redneck shine through.  Man, those babies are so fun to watch.   You can eat a deep fried snickers bar on a stick while watching cars smash into each other at high speeds with the additional option of puking your guts out on the Zipper, all for only about $10.  Only in America, people.  God Bless the USA

I saw a few of my lunch room kids there and they all said hi to me.  I even had one excitedly show me his entries in the small animal barn.  He shared his knowledge of bunnies while also giving me the controversial low-down on his big brother's upcoming wedding as only an eight year old can.

My kids are so used to my hermit lifestyle that it seems my going to the fair by myself, of my own free will freaked them out a bit.  When I told Angel #1 what I had done, he couldn't have been more amazed if I had told him I'd jumped a plane to Baghdad to go conquer the Taliban.  I guess I need to force myself to go out more.

Today I spent the morning mowing the lawn.  It took about twice as long as it took WE to mow, but then again, I don't set the mower on rabbit speed and race over the grass so fast that I miss half of it either, so the yard looks pretty darn good.  I am missing my little WE though.  It's cucumber season and I made a batch of refrigerator pickles, one of his faves.  Previous summers, I would make a huge batch in an ice cream bucket and keep replenishing it, which I needed to do often because WE would just take the whole bucket up to his room and chow down.  Last week, I made a small batch with a single cuke and though I've been slowly eating them, the level isn't going down nearly as quickly as it has previous years.  The last letter I got from him, he said he misses pizza and jam, his girlfriend said in her last letter he said he was missing Twix candy bars.  I think he's missing familiar food from home and would be thrilled to dig into a big batch of refrigerator pickles right about now.  Poor little guy.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How ridiculous is this?

First off, I've noticed that people can't seem to be able to spell ridiculous.  It's like this:  R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S  Got it?  It's not like it's hard to spell like restaraunt...restaruant...the place where you eat out.  But, what's ridiculous is that I made zucchini bread (2-C's 1-N) today just so I had an excuse to run the oven and warm the house up.  It's August 17th and I'm wearing a flannel shirt over my tee shirt because I'm COLD.  What.  The.  Heck.

I've gotten a lot done these last few days home by myself.  I mucked out the chicken coop, froze up batches of peas and broccoli and did a lot of cleaning.  With all the remodeling going on, drywall dust has infiltrated the entire house and I"m trying to get it under control.  Last night I organized my food shelves and once I had things under control, I realized that I don't have nearly as much stuff as I thought I did.  I live in the land of overkill when it comes to food and the fact that I've only got 1 pound of salt on hand freaked me out.  Guess who's going shopping tomorrow?  On the flip side, I've got enough elbow macaroni to feed a small, third world nation's army...provided they don't like a lot of salt on their noodles.

I've also been using my time to catch up on season 7 of Dr. Who.  I've already seen it, but have kind of forgotten the gist of the season, like who Clara actually is and what the steps are to leading up to the death of Dr #11 (I'll miss you, Matt Smith).  So, I'm getting a little bit of a refresher course.  Frankly, if you need a refresher course on something, isn't it better to have to brush up on your Dr Who rather than something like algebra or chemistry?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's so quiet here

Angel #4 flew off to Texas yesterday and I dropped hubs off at the airport this morning.  I spent the day with a couple friends going through a HUGE antique store looking for something to fill a spot in a dining room (not my dining room, my dining room is still full of my living room.  Someday this remodel project will be done).  Once I got home though, the house was all mine...and the dogs and the cats.  It's pretty quiet in here right now.  I spent some time cleaning house, doing a few chores, then tonight, I watched How To Marry A Millionaire as a memorial to the late great Lauren Bacall, one of the most beautiful actresses Hollywood has ever encountered.  There isn't an actress out there today who can hold a candle to her.

I kind of took the day off today, I had one of those 'carried away' days yesterday and kind of needed a break.  I started weeding the garden and couldn't stop.  Four hours later, my garden looked awesome and my arms were ready to fall off.  Then last night, hubs and I butchered 6 more chickens.  The chickens we were raising this summer are Cornish-Cross, and they sometimes get so big so fast that either their hearts and lungs can't keep up or their legs can't support them.  Either way, they die from being big fat overeaters.  The trick is to butcher them up before they croak on you.  We wanted to get as many butchered up before hubs left for Hawaii, because I'm just not chopping heads off chickens, that's hub's job.  There are still 6 chickens left waiting for the chopping block, but hubs chose the smallest, active looking ones to wait on, we'll take care of them next month, then the great chicken massacre of 2014 will be over.  Which is a good thing, I'm totally running out of freezer space.

I got a call from Angel #1 telling me that they arrived safe and sound in Miami.  They made pretty good time with their trip, going across country in only 6 days.  He said he'll be glad to drop off the big moving truck tomorrow, he's a bit sick of driving it.  He did a good job though, they took two big moving trucks and each was towing a trailer with a car on it.  The other guys were having a bit of a struggle sometimes getting in and out of gas stations and such, but, as I told #1, the men in my family have truck driving in their blood - I think they're issued a CDL at the same time they get their birth certificates, so driving big vehicles is kind of in his DNA.  His next step is getting his college stuff squared away and finding a place to live.  Schools starts in 10 days, so he's got some busy days ahead of him.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

random

I opened a library book the other day and found someones grocery list.  I occasionally find interesting things in library books and this was no exception.  Therefore, I will share this list with the world:
X aluminum foil
50lb sugar
cracker
5 bag chicken
ribs, pig feet, neckbones
milk

Kind of makes you wonder what they were having for supper that night, doesn't it?  The only thing that had an "X" in front of it was the aluminum foil, so I don't know if they abandoned their cooking plans in favor of reading a book or what.

Angel #4 is getting all excited about leaving tomorrow to fly down to Houston to hang with her big sister for awhile.  It sounds like her big sis is getting excited about it also.  #2 had a good time getting a big meal ready for her brother and his friends yesterday - she called it Project Feed The Marines.  The boys were on a tight schedule though and could only stay about a half hour or so, which was a little disappointing, but at least they got a chance to see each other.

WE finally got all his backlogged mail this week.  I'm glad he's finally getting his mail so he can get a little taste of home while he's out there working so hard.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Another milestone

Yesterday, Angel #1 was officially discharged from active duty in the United States Marines.  After 4 years, my little boy is a civilian again and, as he says, he's now homeless and unemployed.  That's just a temporary state of events though (hopefully).  He and 2 buddies who were also discharged yesterday are on a cross-country road trip to start their new civilian lives in Miami, Florida.  On their way across the country, they're going to stop in Phoenix and visit one of the guy's grandma, from there they're going on to Houston to catch up with some friends and also visit Angel #2.  She's going to  make them a big pot roast with all the trimmings so they can have a good homecooked meals while they're on the road.  She's also going to make them cupcakes with pink glitter frosting.  She said they'll just chow them down because they're cupcakes, but she'll get a good laugh to herself for feeding 3 big tough Marines pink glitter frosting.  After Houston, they're going through New Orleans to see a Marine buddy who got out a few months ago.  Eventually, they'll make it to Miami where #1 will start college.  I have no idea what the rest of the guys are going to do, but they're all going to be looking for a place to live together.  Apparently, they didn't get enough of each other living in the barracks.

Poor little WE is on the opposite end of that journey and is slogging his way through basic training.  We got a letter from him yesterday dated Aug 1st and he said he hasn't received any letters yet.  We've all been writing him for over 3 weeks now, so I think some mean old drill sergeant has a big stack of WE's letters sitting on his desk somewhere.  His girlfriends mom called me today to tell me that the roses WE ordered for his girlfriend for their 2 year anniversary arrived today, so that should make her happy.  I'm sure she's especially missing him today.  Last year he sort of dropped the ball on the whole anniversary thing, so he made sure his butt was covered and ordered the flower delivery before he left for basic.

We had a good day at camp on Friday.  We felt bad that we could only be there for 2 days this year, but at least Angel #4 made it for the whole week.  It was such a nice feeling when we got there Friday morning and the first thing I saw #4 doing was standing at the door of a bus helping the disabled campers get down the steps, then giving them big hugs before sending them off to sing camp songs.  I'm so proud of my kids.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A busy day, but so much got done

It's about 10:15pm and I"m finally sitting down chilling.  It was one thing after another today.  I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get our printer to work, it still doesn't.  I did 3 loads of laundry and hung them out on the line (it's against my rules to use the dryer between the months of May and September), I got out in the garden for the first time since Friday.  Wow, what happened out there?  I've got about 5 baseball bat zucchinis, my first tomato of the year, my first decent picking of peas, we ate the entire picking for lunch, and I picked, snipped and froze 11 quarts of green beans, which I just finished.  Our friend Dan is over today and tomorrow to help us finish the drywall in our living room and I had to go on a 40 mile round trip Menards run to pick up a bunch more joint compound and I had a second run into our town to do banking and get some stuff at the Amish store, we were out of popcorn, which is almost as serious as running out of drinking water at our house.  I got WE's room ready for Dan to sleep in for the next two night.  Hubs, Dan and I also did a comparison of memories from the time the three of us snuck (is that  a word?  Spell check says it's not) onto a military base full of nuclear submarines (this was pre 9/11, I'm guessing we wouldn't get away with it now days) and drove around checking things out.  I think that about wraps up my day.  Oh yeah, we also butchered 4 chickens.  When I was at the Amish store, I ordered a lug of peaches.  It was only after I ordered them that I found out that they're probably coming in tomorrow, so guess who's canning up peach pie filling tomorrow?

Yesterday we were at camp.  You may remember that every year we volunteer at a camp for special needs adults and children.  This year, because of the whole remodel project, we can only make it on Monday and Friday,  Angel #4 found someone willing to put up with her for the week, so she's spending the whole week there and we'll bring her back home on Friday.  It kind of stinks that we have to miss most of the week, but there's so much to do around here and not enough time to do it.  Hubs just got back from a Hawaii work trip on Friday and he's got to leave again next week for more work down there.  He's planning on sneaking in between hurricanes from the looks of things.  Angel #4 is leaving next week Wednesday to spend 11 days with Angel #2 in Houston.  Angel #1 will be getting out of the Marines on the 18th of August (or possibly earlier) and will be road tripping across the country from San Diego to Miami so he can start school in the fall.  He's hoping to possibly do a detour through Houston and may be able to spend time with both his sisters, which would be really cool.  In the meantime, poor old WE is doing pushups and marching his time away in Basic Training.

It was also Angel #1's 22nd birthday last Thursday.  I can't believe my kids are all so grown up and independent.  The don't even need their mommy anymore, though I'm glad that they still call me regularly just to talk.  Makes me feel like I must have done something right.  :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I want a refund on my summer

Okay, it's July 30th and there's only been one single sweaty day this entire summer.  Yep, one day when the temps hovered around 90, other than that, we're happy if things creep up to 80.  Seriously, last night, I had to put a sweatshirt on to put my chickens to bed because it was 57 degrees outside at 9pm.  That is just so seriously wrong.  My garden is taking forever to kick in - I just had my first zucchini of the year last  night for supper.  Other than that, I've had 2 bean pickings, a cucumber (it was bitter tasting) and one eggplant.  What the heck?  Even my peas are just blossoming out now.  They're supposed to be over already and instead they haven't even pea'd out yet (that sounds kind of gross, doesn't it?)  After the incredibly cold winter we had you'd think we'd get a little payback by at least not having to wear a jacket in July, but no such luck.

WE is having a hard time in Basic Training, he's getting depressed and demoralized, which is the whole point of it, I guess.  But I still feel bad for my little boy.  He says it's not the physical part that's so bad, he was in pretty good shape going in, it's the whole mental thing that's getting him down.  He says he's missing things like tasting your food before you swallow it and hygiene in general, 10 minutes for a shower and shave just doesn't cut it.  He's got 3 weeks in now, so he's about 1/4 of the way through, and they say the first month is the hardest, so he'll do great.  I'm sure he's looking forward to October 3rd and graduation day though.

On the flip side, his big brother is waiting for his early discharge papers so he can get out of the Marines and start on his civilian life.  As soon as his discharge comes though, he's jumping into his car and heading to Miami to start school this fall.  Angel #2 is also starting college this fall as well.  So we'll have a kid in San Diego, Houston and Miami - looks like we'll always have a warm place to visit come winter.

My drywall sanding in the living room came to a standstill yesterday.  I think I killed the hand sander.  It stopped dead while I was working on the ceiling.  I'm debating if I should head into town for a new one, I probably should, but then I'll just have to get back to work and frankly, sanding drywall is one of the worst, messiest constructions projects in the history of building.  I can't wait for this project to get finished!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Our road is where all the cool kids hang out

Our little road was the place to be Friday night.  It was the night of our neighbors huge fireworks extravaganza party. Rumor has it that $20,000 was spent on fireworks this year.  He always has his party the same weekend every year, and it's usually full of non-local people since our neighbor doesn't actually live next door, he lives in a town about 30 miles away.  His place out here is more like his big park.  There were a few of us locals at the party, but not many.  So, all our other neighbors also have big parties on the same night so all their friends can enjoy the fireworks as well, we were invited to one of those parties as well and I had more fun at that one since I actually knew people there.  In addition to all the other parties, people from town also come out and park on the side of our road with their families so they can watch the fireworks too.  I suppose if you life in town, it's not much of a novelty to be within walking distance of an event, but when you're out in the boonies like  us, it's kind of cool to just walk home when everyone else is fighting to get out of the driveway.

To add to our novelty, the next day we had a parade of sorts come past our house.  A big veterans group organized a drive-by of about 100 classic cars & Corvettes and about 600 motorcycles.  They came by on our corner, so we grabbed our lawnchairs and set them up next to our neighbors on the other side of the house from the fireworks guy, grabbed our American flags and waved them as hundreds of vehicles went past blowing their horns.  So we had a bunch of big parties, fireworks an a parade, all in the same weekend.  You can't beat that with a stick.

Our living room is still a mess, but we're at the reconstruction phase now instead of the destruction part of the job, which is a whole lot more encouraging.  The old wiring is out, so now our house is completely rewired with modern day materials as opposed to old ceramic knobs and cloth-wrapped electrical wires.  Yay   I'm sure the insurance company will appreciate that as much as they liked it when we replaced the 50 year old roof and the asbestos siding.  Even if we don't get the house completely in the 21st century, we'll at least have it firmly in the 20th, which will be a massive improvement.  As an added bonus, everyone LOVES our bright red roof.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

what a mess

You know someone's a great friend when not only do they bring you Chinese take-out when they find out you're overwhelmed ripping apart your living room for a remodel, but after you're done eating, she also grabs a crowbar and rips out  your ceiling.  There's not too many of those around and I'm incredibly thankful I've got one like her.  My living room, on the other hand, I don't have any great affection for at the moment.

It started out simple enough, we were going to replace the patio door in the living room.  Then we decided that there was enough room to cut out holes for 2 new additional windows on that wall.  Since there wasn't much south wall left, we decided to just rip out the rest of the wall and re-drywall it.  Then hubs said, let's rip off the paneling on the west wall as well and cover up that doorway.  The west wall of our living room (formerly) had 2 doorways leading into the same long narrow room that hubs uses for an office.  The one doorway we've always had blocked off because there just was no reason to have 2 ways to get into a small room, it's only about 6 feet wide and about 15 feet long.  So we ripped off the paneling and discovered to our unending joy, lathe and plaster. YAY *not*  We ripped all that off and took it all off on hubs office side as well since we had to drywall over the used-to-be doorway.  Then I found out that you can live with someone in marital bliss for over 23 years and have no idea that they have in irrational hatred of painted paneling.  This is a bad thing because all the walls in both hubs office and the living room are (were) painted paneling.  Gone, it's all gone.  All the walls in hubs office had lathe and plaster under the paneling as did 2 of the living room walls.  Have you ever ripped out lathe and plaster?  Don't.  It's messy, dirty, heavy, dusty and a whole list of other adjectives that you don't want to know.

It was right in the middle of the destruction when my friend Connie called to see what we were up to.  I told her and that's when she brought over the rescue Chinese food.  Hubs decided that he also hated the ceiling in those two rooms.  It's this weird cardboardy square panels that have a tongue and groove that fit together - then you staple them to the former ceiling.  He wanted his out of his office.  Since I didn't have the hate he did, I decided I was good with keeping the stuff up in the living room.  Though it's not the most attractive stuff, I really didn't want to deal with taking it down and figured a good coat of paint would do wonders.  Well, Connie & the crowbar went to work on the ceiling in hubs office.  It came off rather easy, but you had to pull all the staples out when you were done, which was the difficult part.

So, between yesterday and today we got all that work done.  Then, when I was sitting  and chilling, I started thinking about that cardboard ceiling in the living room and I figured, you know, the house is already a disaster area, what's a little bit more mess?  So I grabbed a crowbar and single handedly took out the whole living room ceiling, then pulled about a million staples out.  My arms are KILLING ME.  I got blisters in the weirdest places from working the pliers so long.  But, it's done.  Tonight, hubs & I went and picked up almost a whole ton of drywall to put up.  We hired one of WE's friends to come over and help us unload it (boy, we're sure missing WE now!)  The same boy is going to come over tomorrow and help hubs hang the drywall after hubs finishes doing some electrical work, there were only two outlets in our whole living room.  Then there's the mudding to do, then the painting, I"m thinking lavender.  I'm also going to repaint the living room floor since that's scuffed up beyond repair and was looking pretty rough before the construction even started.  Eventually, we're going to put in carpet, but that's a project for another day when our bank account recovers from this latest adventure.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

And now there's only one

Big day today.   This morning we dropped WE off at the military recruiting station and he's off to basic training.  I'm so proud of my boy, but it's still hard to see him go, he's my little boy, you know?  He was pretty nervous, but ready to go.  I handled it okay, after all, I've done this before, I know he'll do awesome and though it seems like forever for him, it's really only 3 months and we'll be seeing him again.  I go much longer not seeing Angels #1&2.  But WE's poor girlfriend was pretty upset...prouder than heck, but upset to see him go.  The two of them spent a lot of time together this week, both at family together times after her cousin's funeral, but on a better note, her aunt's wedding was last night and they had a wonderful time.

Now Angel #4 is an only child, she's already got plans to take over WE's room as a closet, so she's looking forward to that, but she's now inherited Diesel doggy, which she's less than thrilled about.  WE usually has what we refer to as 'poo patrol' which is scooping up the piles of poop the dog leaves on the lawn.  Someone's gotta scoop that poo and hubs and I nominated her.  She's just realized for the first time in her life that the child to parent ratio is no longer skewed in her favor.  Sucks to be her.  hee hee

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

starting to calm down

As much as I love having all my kids home, I was equally glad to send everyone back where they came from.  Those extra bodies create an added level of chaos in my life that tends to drive me nuts over an extended period of time.  I like normal sameness in my life, I'm not a very exciting person, and having an additional 2 people, sleeping on sofas, living in the living room (which is made for sitting,  not living in, despite its misleading name) and keeping everyone fed and entertained is by no means close to normal sameness.

This is WE's last week home before being shipped off to the Marines on Sunday.  He's trying to get all the  sleep, food and fun he can fit into this week over with in anticipation of having very little of any of those three in the next three months. There was an upset in his plans on Saturday, when during his girlfriend's graduation party, her family got the tragic news that her 12 year old cousin was found dead in her bedroom of unknown cause.  He's now at the funeral home and will be spending tomorrow morning at her funeral.  His poor girlfriend has been struggling for almost a year with the death of her father and to have this happen 2 weeks before the 1st anniversary of his death, along with knowing WE's going to be leaving soon has got to be a huge emotional blow to her, though she's dealing with things rather well, considering.  Angel #4 and I will be going to the wake at the funeral home tonight to pay our respects - her family lives right down the road from us and in the country, living within 5 miles of someone makes you neighbors.  Besides, though I didn't see much of the deceased girl at school, I saw and spoke to her little brother every day and if I saw her dad someplace, we always took a few minutes to chat, as well as totally adoring the rest of WE's girlfriend's extended family.

Other than that, it's been the same old summer stuff, gardening, baby chickens, mosquitoes, etc  Just the way I like it, other than the mosquitoes

Monday, June 16, 2014

ZOOM!!!

It's been over two weeks since I showed up here, wow, things happen fast around here.

All four of my angels have been home for the last week and it's been great, if not a bit chaotic.  We're just not used to, or set up for, having 6 people living here, so there's stuff and people all over the place.  Add that to getting ready for WE;s graduation party and things got downright loopy around here.

WE's party was on Saturday, we had it in conjunction with his friend Casey, who's also going into the Marines at the same time.  It was a great turnout with lots of people, some friends came over who I hadn't seen in 3 years, their kids had all gotten so bit and one the them I'd never even seen before and will be turning 2 in August.  To think we used to spend just about every weekend with them back in the old days, it's hard to believe things have changed so much.  But they live a 3 hours drive away and have 4 little kids, so it's hard for them to get out and we've just got so much stuff going on in our own lives that it's hard for us to make the trip as well, though hubs has been out there a few times on jobs, but I didn't make it out there with him.  Anyway, it was nice to play catch-up, though I didn't have a whole lot of time since I had to run around being a hostess.  We had a ton of leftover food and we'll be eating party food for the next couple days, thank goodness I've got the extra kids here to help us eat all this stuff.

Yesterday, we took the kids on what may be one of our last whole family vacations.  It was just a short jaunt- out to House on the Rock, about a 3 1/2 hour drive from here.  If you've never experienced House on the Rock, I highly recommend it.  It's absolutely crazy and random, perfect for our family.  I was a little worried about hauling the whole group out there then have someone whining about being bored or something, but that never happened.  Though everyone wasn't interested in everything, everyone found lots of stuff to be interested in.  We also brought WE's girlfriend along, which was a great move.  Not only did she enjoy it as much as our kids, but this was her first Father's Day without her dad and she was worried about how she was going to handle it.  Fortunately for her, we're not a Hallmark Holiday kind of family and Father's Day didn't even really come up other than once when we were wondering why there were so many full parking lots in front of restaurants.

The suggested time for each portion of House on the Rock is 1 hour each, for a total of about 3 hours to walk the whole place (it's about a 2.5 mile walk through the whole thing).  We were enjoying it so much it took us over 5 hours to go through it and each of us said we would have loved to spend more time examining some of the displays.  The girls and I all oohed and ahhed over the dollhouse room the the replica crown jewels, each of us picking out which crown we'd like the best.  The boys and hubs spent a lot of time examining the guns, armor, the tiny circus dioramas and WE was absolutely fascinated by the scrimshaw works.  Overall, I would call it a complete success and it was great spending an enjoyable day with my kids.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dare I say it without jinxing things? Summer's here!!

The weather's finally been beautiful and it's time for fun in the sun!  YAY!

We finally got the garden in today, which is a load off.  I don't like getting it in so late, it should have been planted a week ago, but we finally got someone to plow it up real good on Friday.  The same guy also sold us a tiller, so yay for that.  I've been gardening by hand forever, so it'll be a real treat to have a tiller to do the rough stuff for me this summer.  I still have to put in the potatoes and tomatoes, but everything else is in.  I haven't gotten around to buying seed potatoes yet and I only want to put in a few this year since I don't have much luck with them - our land is too clay-ee or limey or something and they always end up small and not worth the effort it takes to plant, weed, pick potato bugs and dig the up.  I'll just buy a big 50 lb bag from someone this fall.  I screwed up buying tomato plants and accidentally bought cherry tomatoes instead of real ones.  I hate cherry tomatoes, hubs is the only one who likes raw tomatoes, so he's the only one to eat them and to pick all those stupid little things to can them is a pain in the butt.  I'm going to pitch the plants I got by accident and pick up some good ones and get those in the ground asap.  I've still got tons of canned tomatoes from last year, but it just doesn't seem like  a real garden without a few tomato plants out there.  Besides, I love eating the green ones fried up and that's something you can't store for winter eating.  Some treats are meant for summertime only.

Yesterday we went to watch the track and field team compete at sectionals.  WE didn't do, real great on the long jump, well, he did all right for what he usually does, but the winners were jumping at over 20 feet and WE's goal was to get over 19 this year.  One of our girl disc throwers broke our school's record, so she was pretty excited, she's going on to the state competition as is one of our girl hurdlers who took first in both the 100 and 300 meter hurdles and our girls high jumper took a 2nd, so we've got 3 girls going on to state in 4 different events.  WE's buddy Grant is going on for the 800 meter - Grant is also the kid who took a first in state in wrestling this year, he's a bit of a go-getter.  In a surprise move, WE ended up running in the 4X400 relay as well.  He didn't run that race at regionals, it was run by an alternate, but the coach decided that WE should run it at sectionals.  The boys did awesome and managed to take 5th place, not good enough for state, but good nonetheless.  The race was run in two heats, WE's group taking 1st in the 1st, and slower heat.  The 7 faster teams ran in the 2nd heat, but in a heartbreaking development, the teams battling it out for 2nd & 3rd place bumped or something, sending one of the kids toppling to the ground hurt and the other team, I believe, was disqualified.  It was those two teams dropping out of the race that sent our guys up to #5.  It's so sad to see something like that happen when you know those kids worked so hard to get there.  There were a couple of injuries yesterday.  When you get to finals, those kids remaining push themselves so hard that injuries are just going to happen.  I'm glad our team all came out of things in one piece.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It almost looks like a brand new house

Thanks for the congrats, Tanya, WE is all officially graduated and out of school now.  The graduation ceremony was wonderful and very touching.  This is a class that has been through a lot together starting with their teacher dying during the school year when they were elementary school and a classmate dying in an accident in 8th grade.  Also, in a class of 54 kids, there are at least 4 kids who have lost a parent in the last 5 years and the class valedictorian's dad has only weeks or possibly days to live and everyone was so very thankful he was able to make it to the graduation ceremony to hear his son give his speech. This is a very close group of kids who have been there for each other through some pretty bad times and the principal made a note of that during his address to the crowd.  They're a great group of kids and I'm going to miss seeing them around.

Most graduation ceremonies tend to celebrate those going on in academics, announcing the honor students (this class had more honor students than non-honor students), giving out scholarships, etc, but our principal did something special which meant so much to our family.  After talking about the kids going on to school and the workforce, he spoke of those who were going on to the military and had the ones who were enlisted stand  up, WE and his buddy Casey got a huge round of applause and a standing ovation, I was so proud of my boy.  WE said there were kids in his class who were brought to tears.  It was wonderful to see.

This weekend brought a round of graduation parties.  It was a lot of fun hanging out with friends and getting to know new people though I'm definitely peopled-out for awhile.

We also did some major work on our house over the weekend.  We've got about half the new siding put on the house now, which is great since it's been just board insulation on the outside all winter and it looked pretty crappy.  I'm sure every time someone drove by they'd say to themselves:  When are those people who bought the old O'Connell place going to fix that awful looking house up???   We also got all the windows replaced.  Now every window in the house opens and closes and the ALL HAVE HOLE-LESS SCREENS!!!  You can't get us now, mosquitoes!  Replacing the patio door was a bit of an adventure.  Last week, hubs pulled the roof off the old porch on the front of the house, leaving only the base of the porch, kind of like a real ugly deck.  Then on Saturday, they pulled the old patio door out, it was one of those old things from the 1970's that weigh about 100 pounds.  After pulling it out, they decided it would be better to rip out the old porch base before putting in the new door.  Turns out that they had built the porch right over top of the cement steps that used to go up to the old front door.  The cement steps had to go before we could install the new door and they were HEAVY.  After having a huge 6 foot hole in the wall of our living room for the majority of the day, our neighbor came over with a skid steer and finally pulled the steps away.  It seemed like everyone in town drove by our place while we were doing the work because just about everyone I saw over the weekend commented on the house.  One friend happened by when we had the big hole and when I saw her later in the day she said:  I drove past your house this morning, it seems to be missing some pieces.  - But, it's all good now.

We just got back from Regionals for track & field.  Angel #4 competed in the shot putt, but didn't do so great.  WE was in the 100, 200 and the long jump.  He made finals in the 100, but missed the call for the final race so he missed it, which sucked pretty bad.  He also made finals in the 200, but finished in 5th place - the top 4 go on to Sectionals.   He did manage to go on for the long jump and will be competing on Friday.  He has a pretty bad cold, so he didn't do too badly - considering.  He claimed it was being zoned out on cold meds was what made him miss the call for the 100.  Oh well, that's life.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Traditions

It's graduation night and the high school traditions are running wild.  Saturday night was Senior Class Trip, and overnighter to the amusement park.  The park closed to the public in the evening and opened up to high school senior class trips only for the rest of the night. The kids rode rides until 6am and had a very long, sleepy bus ride home.  Tonight is the annual seniors parking lot camp-out.  The senior class camp out in the school parking lot for the night, having a cook-out and the whole shebang.  I guess they just can't get enough of the school.   These aren't your normal high school kids though, WE said that when the subject of a senior skip day came up, the majority response was:  We can't do that, we'd miss a day of school!  Yeah, they actually said that, it's all about getting good grades and an education around here.  We've got a whole town of over achievers.  Tomorrow is the senior breakfast at the school followed by graduation ceremony practice then the parade of seniors driving their cars around town, blowing their horns and generally getting one last hurrah in before the pass the upper classman torch to the juniors.  I can't believe my little WE is graduating tomorrow night.  It seems like only yesterday he was eating worms to impress the girls and look where he is now.  Time flies.

The rest of the school, however, still have 2 weeks left to go before their summer begins, if it ever does.  We've had about 2 days where the temps got in the 70's, otherwise, this spring has been a wet, cold, miserable bust.  I think we had a single track meet where we didn't have to bundle up in full on winter gear.  A friend lost all his tomato and pepper plants last week due to frost, he jumped the gun and put in his garden early.  Last year he lucked out and it worked, not so much this year though. We don't even have our garden plowed up yet, it's been too wet and what's the point?  It's too cold  for anything to grow right now anyway.  I can't wait for summer.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The final nail in the coffin

Our minivan has been less than optimal for quite awhile now.  It's had issues from the beginning (we had to replace the transmission for the first time about 2 months after we got it then had to do it a second time about 2 years later) but we survived.  Things really started going downhill when WE went in the ditch in January and the front bumper got pulled off when it was getting pulled out.  The bumper was ruined and we never got around to replacing it, so we've been driving around without one.  It was just the plastic cosmetic bumper, so it wasn't a structural thing, it just looked awful with the front of the van exposed, but on the bright side, we didn't have to open the hood to see if we needed washer fluid, we could see the whole fluid tank just by looking at the van.  About 2 months ago, the van made a weird noise while I was driving it and I discovered my power steering pump went out.  We weren't quite prepared to spend $500 to get it replaced, so we've been driving it without power steering since then.  Once again, we all got used to it and it built up our arm strength, but pulling out of parking spaces was a really pain in the butt.  Then about 2 weeks ago, it started making that weird squeaking noise by the alternator belt that we'd already spent about $400 to fix about a year ago.  I was really really ready for a new vehicle, but hubs wanted to keep limping it along.

But then came Thursday night and now all bets are off.  Hubs was driving home from a comedy event he was hosting and managed to get himself some grilled venison - that's Wisconsin-speak for hitting a deer with your car, if you were wondering.  Not just one deer, he did it right and managed to get 2 deer at once.  My van is not only merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead.  These things never come at an opportune time, but 12:30am is not the time you want to get a call from your husband asking you to come tow your dead van home.  At least it happened close to home, within the same 1 mile stretch that I hit a deer with the same van about a year ago, so I can't really blame hubs, that place is stinking deer alley.  This being a small town, WE said by the time he got to school the next morning, about 5 people knew his dad had hit a deer the night before.  How these things get out so fast is beyond me, besides our family, the only people who officially knew hubs had gone road warrioring were the two cops who wrote up the accident report and I hardly think they cared enough to run around spreading the word around town.  Actually, when the 2nd cop came over to the van window and asked me how bad the damage was, I pointed to our truck parked in front of the van, (remember that one?  No door handle, holes in the floorboards, etc) and said, "That just became our good vehicle."


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spring Concert

Last night we went to the high school spring concert, what a wonderful show!  We got to hear the state-worthy Solo & Ensemble performances from 2 percussionists, 3 singing solos and a duet.  Angel #4 absolutely hates performing, so she skipped out of the concert and didn't perform her song.  But, the other kids did an incredible job.

 After the high school band performed, a select group of kids from the choir sang a song that WE's girlfriend wrote.  She's composed the music about a year ago and then the lyrics came to her after her dad was killed in a car accident in July.  She accompanied the kids on the piano and it was gorgeous.  I don't think there was a dry eye in the house and they finished up to a rousing standing ovation.  I get teary-eyed again just thinking about it.  I'm so proud of our school and the kids who go there.

When I'm doing lunch numbers in the line during the day, sometimes I horse around with the kids, other times I just stand there quietly and listen to what they have to say to each other.  The other day I missed the beginning of the conversation, but this is what I heard:  "I found the spell on the internet.  You're supposed to say it 5 times in a row at midnight.  I think it's working because my teeth are starting to feel sharper"  I think Jillian is attempting to become a vampire. I hope she doesn't get a doctors diagnoses of her condition, because then by law I'd have to work up a lunch menu to fit her special dietary habits and I don't know if I can find blood in our food suppliers catalog.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

In honor of Mother's Day, I took the which sitcom mom are you? test.  This is what I got:
Morticia Addams
You are cool, seductive and bring a sense of macabre fun to your role as a mother. The teenage goth you used to be would be proud. You are unashamed of your family's eccentricities and are at your happiest when they let their freak flags fly!

 I'm sure you're all as shocked as I was that I didn't get June Cleaver.

The kids and I went out for Chinese food after church this morning then headed out to Walmart to pick a few things up.  I ran into some issues and ended up standing in 3 different lines before I finally got it straightened out while the kids waited for me in the car.  Once the guy got my mulch loaded up I jumped in the passengers seat and told Angel #4 to get going, but I guess not.  While they were waiting for me, they noticed a guy standing in the parking lot with a bouquet of roses, obviously waiting for someone.  Since they already had so much time invested in watching him wait (their words, not mine), they wouldn't leave the parking lot until the person he was waiting for showed up.  I said it was obviously going to be his mom, since it's mother's day, but WE was sure he was waiting for his girlfriend to get off her cashiers shift so he could propose in the Walmart parking lot.  Well, after waiting for a half hour the guy's mom comes out of Walmart and he gives her the flowers and a hug.  So yeah, we creepered on a guy for half an hour to see him give his mom flowers.  And please note:  this did not give my kids the idea to get me anything for Mother's Day, the rotten bums. Angel #4 had an awesome blond moment last night.  There's something wrong with the dash of our minivan and every once in awhile, all the gauges, speedometer and that stuff all shut down.  The van runs fine, you just don't know how fast you're going or how much gas you have, that kind of thing.  Usually, all you have to do is karate chop the dash and everything turns  back on, I call it doing a Hong Kong Phooey.  Last night, when she was taking her boyfriend home, the gauges went out on Angel #4, we Hong Kong Phooey'ed it a couple of times, but it wasn't working.  It isn't far to her boyfriend's house, so she just drove without the gauges until she got him home, once he was dropped off, she asked if she turned the van off, then on again, if that would help and I told her it was worth a try.  So that's what she did, then she started slamming on the dash again and said, well it worked for everything but the speedometer and hit the dash again.  I looked at her and said, you realize the speedometer is on zero because you're not going anywhere, right??  We laughed hysterically the whole ride back home.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

we do fondue, do you?

This afternoon I went with my friends Kim & Sarah to a 'fun'due.  Live music, fondue, wine and lots & lots of people.  The weather was gorgeous, which explains why there were so many people there, any excuse to hang around outside on a beautiful spring day.  Of course, I can't escape my sordid professional life, I was only there about 15 minutes when I heard someone yell, 'hey lunch lady!'  It was one of the janitors from the school, small world.

Last night was Amish haystack supper night.  We had overnight house guests, so they came along.   Neither of them had any interactions with the Amish before, so it was a new experience for them.  Of course, the food was, as always, delicious, but I managed to pace myself and saved room for homemade pie and ice cream, which was a first.  I've always had to take my pie to-go in the past.

It's been a busy week, Monday was a freshman/sophomore track meet, Tuesday was a regular track meet, Wednesday was Bible study, Thursday was ANOTHER track meet & Friday we had grandparents day at school.  We got about 600 people through the lunch line in about an hour & 20 minutes, that about double our number of lunches we usually serve.  I spent the entire meal washing dishes - we don't have enough trays and silverware for all those people, so we had to keep running clean stuff out front to keep up with the masses.  Amazingly enough, we even finished up early and washed the final dish around 12:30, about 10-15 minutes sooner than we usually do.  Go figger.  After all that rushing around, I was glad we had the haystack supper, I sure wasn't in the mood to make a meal.

WE & I finally got a guest list put together for his graduation/going away party.  Boy, it sure is difficult keeping the number at a reasonable size.  It's a joint party with his friend, Casey, who's also going into the Marines at the same time, so it should be a pretty big blow out. Fortunately for me, Casey's family is big on throwing parties and has the whole thing under control and we're just sort of along for the ride.  I'll be making some of the food and buying stuff, but for the most part, they've got almost everything done already.  Now that's the kind of party I like to throw.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I...I...I'm all right

I swear, some days at work are so covered in awesome that I feel guilty getting paid for being there.  Today was just that kind of day.  I'm NOT making this up or exaggerating, I promise.  This totally happened.

I'm in the back office doing my lunch lady thing when I hear the other lunch ladies freaking out up front.  Of course, I'm nosy, so I head up there to see what's going on.  There was POOP on the floor of the lunch room.  There was some smeared on the floor and a couple of actual turds.  We figured some animal must have gotten inside when they had doors propped open during sports practice or something.  Since 300 kids are going to be in there eating lunch in 45 minutes, we immediately called one of the janitors to come deal with it.  10 minutes later Gary had the job finished (hee hee, see what I did there?) and comes back into the kitchen.  He said, and I kid you not, "That wasn't poop, it was a candy bar.  I think it was a Baby Ruth."  Of course, I did what anybody would do, I yelled, "DOODIE!!" Yes people, my job is Caddyshack!  Does life get any cooler?  Oh wait, yes it does!  First off, I asked him if he took a bite from it - sadly, he did not.  BUT, and listen to this, When I got into my car to go home after work, 'I'm All Right' was playing on the radio!  I think I've  pretty much reached Nirvana and everything else in life is going to be downhill from here.

In other news, I'd like to report that my husband went kite surfing in Maui yesterday and lived to tell the tale, which is a good thing because I'm not sure if his life insurance covers acts of mid-life crises stupidity.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Yep, they're nuts, but it's for a good cause

Home track meet tonight.  The kids both did great, Angel #4 PR'd (personal record) in both the shot and the discus and WE PR's in the long jump and took a first in the 400 meter dash.  It was about 45 degrees out, okay for running, but it sucks for spectating.  I volunteered for working concessions, so at least I got to hang out in a building between the kids events, but that wind was the pits.  After freezing at the meet, the kids came home and found a new way to freeze.  The latest thing around here is a fundraising project for a little local boy who's suffering from cancer.  Someone nominates you to jump into a random body of water, when you jump in, you film yourself, post it on facebook along with a link to the fundraiser page, then you nominate someone else to do the same. You've got 24 hours after nomination to jump in.  So, after the track meet, WE, his girlfriend and Angel #4, who'd all just been nomiated recently, went to the lake next door and jumped in.  WE was happy to have a few firsts in their jump, theirs was the first recorded night jump that they've seen and he also jazzed it up by doing a backflip into the water...twice, because he was nominated twice in the same day.  If you feel the desire to donate, here's Eli's link.

Today is the last day of spring break.  We had half a day of school on Thursday, now, tomorrow, we go back.  It's been a nice little break, especially with the beautiful warm day we had yesterday.  We only had a single day of 60 degree + weather, but more is coming...I hope.  I went to our vendor's food show for work today.  How awesome is it just wandering up and down the aisles at the expo place while people keep pushing food at you?  I had prime rib, lobster bisque, steak, ham, juices, veggies and even a delicious lump of deep fried cookie dough, I also brought home a bunch of free samples, so I'm good in the snack department for a couple days, too.  Since it was a show for all our vendors customers, restaurants and cafes and not just schools, there was actually really good tasting food there too, not just Michelle Obama approved tasteless school food.  So even though I got to eat all kinds of good stuff, a lot of it will never make it to our lunch menu, poor kids, it's still chicken nuggets and carrot sticks for them.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Great Weekend

Wow, what a great weekend!  The weather's really been warming up and today it got into the mid-60's.  I found all kinds of things to do outside, just so I could enjoy the weather.  Sadly, though it was warm, it was very overcast, so it wasn't quite as springy feeling as it could have been.  But, I got my raspberry bushes trimmed back, raked some gravel out of the ditch, cleared out the old vegetation in the flower bed along the granary since the irises are starting to poke through and cleared a little bit of the built up mess in the chicken coop and dumped it into the garden-come June, my plants will be loving that.  Another sign of spring is that apparently the weasels are out and about, I found a dead chicken in the coop last night when I went to lock things up, so now I'm down to 15 laying hens.  I'm debating getting a few chicks ordered to get the flock numbers up.  I don't need more than 15 chickens, but I don't want much less than that either, and sometimes it doesn't take much to lose a bunch of chickens to a predator or some kind of chicken disease.

Yesterday we had something special for church all day, then went to Rent-a-Grandmas for supper.  Homemade fish boil, YUM!  That could potentially be one of the last meals our family will be eating at her house.  She's putting the place up for sale and planning on moving to Virginia to be near 2 of her kids and the grandbabies (that's babies she just found out grandbaby #2 is coming in September).  Her daughters were both there and have been helping her get the house ready to put up for sale.  I hadn't seen either one of her girls in a couple years, and it was great to see them and have a gabfest.  We used to spend so much time together when they lived here, her oldest and I were roomies before I got married and she also lived in Hawaii the same time we did, so we would island hop for some time together.  Her youngest daughter loves kids and spend a lot of time babysitting the angels when they were little - as a matter of fact, we were talking about when WE was a baby last night. He was an incredibly crabby baby and Shelley would take him off our hands one night a week so the rest of us could have at least one quiet, non screaming baby meal a week.  WE denied that he ever could have been that bad, but there were too many of us there who remembered those days, so we weren't falling for it.

Grandma also asked the kids if there was something special from her house that they wanted.  I think we were all pleased with their choices, though they did give us some laughs.  Rather than pick something big and valuable, Angel #4's immediate pick was a snow globe/music box that plays Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head.  Whenever she would spend the night at grandma's house, she would wind  up that music box and listen to it as she fell asleep at night.  WE also knew what song it played, so I'm guessing that it was something that all the kids did when they spent the night there.  WE announced that he wanted the sippy cup. It was an old sippy cup she always kept around for when little kids were there. I don't have a clue why that meant so much to the kids, but Angel #4 totally agreed with his choice of keepsake.  They were both disappointed to find out that the cup has sprung a leak and grandma had thrown it away.  His second choice was a couple of plastic cereal bowls that had a straw built in so you could drink the milk from your bowl of cereal right from the straw.  He also asked if he could have one of her picture books that he particularly loved reading, something about a prince writing a letter which tipped off a huge chain of crazy events.  I guess that one was always a favorite of his.  In one of those bizarre flip-flops, I asked if I could have a picture of hers - it was something my mother in law had given me and I gave it to grandma when we moved to Hawaii.  Now that she's moving out of state, I asked if I could have it back.  I don't know where I'm going to go with it, but it's a nice memory I have of my mother in law.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I forgot to post a prom pic of Angel #4, looking like Mae West in her orange dress.  Along with her boyfriend is also her bestie, Jess, who tends to spend a lot of time in our bathroom with #4 doing whatever teenage girls do in the bathroom for hours on end.  Poor Jess has been going with the same boy for 1 1/2 years now, but since he's a year younger than she is and therefore, still in middle school, he's not allowed to go to the high school dances, so she's been going stag this year.  I'm sure she'll be happy next year when Devin can join in on all the high school stuff.

I had a great day at work today.  After talking to rent-a-grandma about what they're serving for lunch at the school where she volunteers at, I thought we'd give fresh cucumbers a try at our school.  I made happy little signs to put up along the lunch line announcing the addition of fresh cukes to the salad bar.  While I was putting up the sign, a first grader asked me what it said and I read it to the kids in line.  She said she didn't like cucumbers and told her she should give them another try because they were like deliciousness exploding in your mouth.  One little boy asked Really?  and I said YES!  And a whole bunch of kids started cheering.  I made first grade cheer for cucumbers, people.  My job as a lunch lady is complete.  Later on, I saw a boy who'd already gone through the line come back to the sign dragging another boy along with him.  Boy #1 pointed to the sign and said, "See, I told you they were there, but I got the last ones, HAH!"  Who would have thought cucumbers would create such a stir.

Another of my jobs when I'm punching kids (that's what I call it when I punch their lunch numbers into the computer) is that I keep a running list of kids who run out of money in their account and hand it over to the secretary so she can call parents and shake them down for some lunch money.  Usually I just write down the kids name then put a dollar sign behind it.  But today, the very first kid in line was in the hole for lunch money and he knew it before I even put in his number - he'd forgot to tell his mom to send money.  So, on my list instead of the usual, I wrote down "Josh Everts is evil", then I tacked "and he also needs lunch money" onto the end.  He saw what I wrote and showed his friends my list.  Next thing I knew, all the kids in line wanted me to write on my list that they were evil, too.  Some days I really don't understand 4th graders.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April showers?

Wow Tanya, that is such a cool story.  Sounds like you raised that kid right!  I hope she has a great time at prom.  I gave Angel #4 a $50 limit on her prom dress, she ended up finding a sale & a coupon and got a $100 dress for $50.38...I told her I'd take the additional 38 cents out of her college fund.  :p  My kids both had a great time and the after prom party here was relatively quiet.  At least, I assume it was, I fell right to sleep.  My friend Connie wasn't quite so fortunate.  She had a senior after prom party at her house which apparently included a kid playing the piano and having a sing-along as well as another kid playing the guitar and improvising a song including all the goofy stories and embarrassing things that happened to this years senior class.  WE said it was the most fun he'd ever had at an after dance party.  Connie on the other hand, was a bit cranky on Sunday due to lack of sleep.

Friday was the 2nd comedy/dinner show hubs organized.  It went over great. The first half featured 3 stand-up comedians and the 2nd half was improv.  What a hoot.  The meal was great and my darling husband got a room of 40 strangers to sing happy birthday to me.  My birthday was Saturday instead of  Friday, but I guess that was close enough to totally embarrass your wife.

Today was another of those parental milestones.  I took Angel #4 to the DMV and she's now got her temps.  When she begged to go out driving afterwards, I convinced her to ask her dad to take her out.  I'll go shopping, buy clothes, run errands, but when it comes to teaching kids to drive, that's firmly on hubs list of things to do.  I tend to dig my fingernails into the dash and scream a lot, he keeps his cool pretty good.  He said #4 did a great job.  They went cruising around the neighborhood checking out all the flooding.  We had a LOT of rain this weekend and boy, do we have the standing water.  The street that connects the 2 schools in town is completely under water in some spots, the water jumped the curb on both sides and was just about going over the sidewalk.  Tomorrows track meet is cancelled, apparently there isn't enough money in the school budget to provide the whole track team with scuba gear. Oh, and it also snowed, so in addition to most places being flooded, all the dry land is covered in snow.  Summer can't come to soon.  I even ordered seeds today.  I'm hoping that if I do spring like things, eventually spring will happen.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Prom Night

We're getting ready for prom here today.  By getting ready for prom, I mean we went to the grocery store and stocked up on junk food, because guess who's got the after prom party at her house?  I'm not sure how many kids are going to be here, but I'll certainly be able to feed them.  Angel #4 and her friend came along to the grocery store and picked up a few additional "necessities", like old maid cards, balloons and glow in the dark silly putty.  I'm not sure what the old maid cards or balloons are for, but they're planning on sticking the silly putty on their teeth so their mouths glow in the dark when they smile at the dance.  Oh, the glamour of prom!!  I bought a few "necessities" of my own, like a bottle of wine.  If I'm going to have a bunch of freshman girls giggling and glowing in the dark in my living room all night, I'm going to need something to get me through it.

I'm just glad we're all healthy.  Both WE and Angel #4 stayed home from school 2 days this week with a really nasty stomach bug, then WE's girlfriend got it Thursday. We were at a Marine family function and the poor girl spent the whole time throwing up in the bathroom at the Reserves building.  Not fun.  I'm just afraid that I'm going to get it.

Last night was the first fish boil of spring.  I met my friend Sarah at the boil at 5:30 and we got to talking.  I ended up getting home at 9, we hadn't moved from our chairs that entire time and I came home with a sore throat from talking so much.  Good times and great food.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

what a weekend!

It was a busy, but wonderful weekend.  Hubs dad came over Friday night and we went to a fish fry before going to watch WE & co in their senior class play.  After their disastrous dress rehearsal on Wednesday, I felt it was only fair to warn the poor man that he should not be expecting Broadway quality work by any means, but we were all pleasantly surprised by the play.  Since things were such a mess on Wednesday, the kids really stepped up to the plate to pull the show together - I guess they realized they would look like utter idiots if they didn't at least have some of their lines memorized.  They did an awesome job and had the audience laughing both at the play itself and the kid's screw-ups onstage.  They had a great first performance, though there were a whole lot of lines skipped, which made the storyline a little bit confusing to the audience, but we all just rolled with it.  Then came Saturday nights performance and the kids really cut loose.  Rent-a-Grandma came and watched that one with us.  I'm so glad we went to both performances, Friday the kids stuck as close to the script as they were able (which was challenging since they hadn't memorized the script real well), but Saturday night they decided to play a bit.  Because we had seen how the whole thing was supposed to go on Friday, when they added new things on Saturday, we were really laughing, which I'm sure confused those who hadn't seen the first performance, since though what was going on onstage was funny, it certainly wasn't snort-inducing, unless you knew the kids were totally ad-libbing at spots to compensate for their personalized script adjustments. They had kids wandering into scenes that weren't supposed to be there, saying random lines, kids eating the food props onstage and all kinds of crazy stuff that sent the actors into onstage giggle fits.  There were a few unintended guffaws as well when WE's hat got tangled up in the fishing line strung across the stage to support some of the props, he was stuck there until someone got him untangled. WE also manged to accidentally kick a telephone offstage when he jumped up on a table.  It was pretty funny and everyone had a great time.  But, after having the play consume a good chunk of his life in the last 3 weeks I think WE's pretty glad it's all over.

Saturday was also music solo & ensemble.  Angel #4 sang a trio with 2 of her friends and got a '1', which is the highest score you can get.  It was a Class B song though, so it didn't qualify them to perform at the state level.  However, she also had a solo that she sang beautifully, a Class A, which she also got a '1' on which DOES qualify her for state, so she'll be singing again next month at the next level.  We're so proud of her, she's got such an incredible voice.  I'm not sure who she gets it from because neither hubs or I can sing a decent sounding note, as a matter of face, she herself, pretty much had a tin ear when she was little and could massacre a song along with the best of them.  She sure can raise the roof now though. She's got a really strong voice that tends to overpower anyone she sings with, but there's one boy in school who also had a big voice and I think it would be so awesome for the two of them to get together and really blow the walls down.  Maybe next year.  I'd also like to see her compete at musical theater, which is singing a song from a musical and adding appropriate movement along with it.  Since she's only a freshmen, she's got 3 more years of opportunity to do so many interesting things with her singing, I can't wait to see where she goes with it.  She was one of only 2 freshmen in our school who qualified to compete at state, the rest were juniors and seniors.  The other was Noah, a drummer who can really get things rolling.  He was a little concerned about how his performance was going to be on Saturday since he'd practiced so hard in the days leading up to Solo/ensemble that he literally got blisters on his fingers from holding the drumsticks, but he managed to work through the uncomfortableness and showed those judges how a wield a pair of drumsticks.

I was so proud of both of my talented kids this weekend.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Volley ball and ghost stories

Last night, WE played in a blind man's volley ball tournament.  It's volleyball with a few tweaks, like the net is set really high and is covered with a tarp so you can't see what the other team is doing.  Also, in this case, all the players were required to wear mittens.  The kids had a great time and took 2nd place, the prize being a bunch of pizzas, which they demolished right after the tournament was over.  Afterwards, they sat around and told ghost stories.  According to WE, his buddy Mitch, does a lot of camping, so knows a lot of ghost stories and he's really good at telling them.  So good, in fact, that when it was time to go home, no one wanted to be the only car on the road and run the risk of running into the faceless boy who haunts Round Lake Road or any of the other local spooks Mitch told them about.  So, the kids drove around in a caravan, going from house to house dropping off their friends.  Someone eventually had to drive home by themselves, I'm guessing it was Mitch since it was his stories that freaked everyone out in the first place.  Those kids are so stinking funny.

Angel #4 went to an overnight FFA event this weekend.  I'm not sure what she did there, but any event where you can spend the night in a hotel with a bunch of your friends is bound to be a good time.

Hubs just got back from San Antonio, TX, where he participated in the World Series of Comedy.  Angel #2 drove out there to hang out with him, but that didn't last long.  She was helping out in the comedy club where the event was taking place and met a few of the comics and it didn't take long for her to ditch her dad and go hang out with the younger, better looking (in her opinion) comics.  One of the guys made it to the finals and tonight will be competing for the chance to go on to Las Vegas.  So not only is he younger and better looking, but he's also funnier than hubs.  Her dear old dad didn't stand a chance against competition like that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Disco Days

I'm not sure what the occasion is, but the middle school is having special "days".  Yesterday was camouflage day and today, I discovered was disco day.  When the middle school came into the lunch room, I heard loud music start.  I was back washing dishes, so the noise of the dishwasher made it so I couldn't hear what was being played, but eventually, I ran out of dirty dishes and I could hear what was being played.  Then I really began to wonder....why were the middle schoolers listening to The Hustle??  That's when I found out it was Disco Day.  So I washed dishes to the tunes of the Bee Gees and Gloria Gaynor, and then, it came on.  The disco song that defines disco songs...YMCA.   I was doing the dance in the dishwasher room, because it's physically impossible to NOT do the YMCA dance when that song comes on.  The middle schoolers were all dancing too, which made me laugh because I was their age when that song first became popular.  I can remember dancing to that song in MY school gym about a million years ago and here we are, about 35 years later, and middle school kids are still doing the YMCA dance.  Heck, some of those kids parents weren't even born yet when that song came out.  I'll just go get my cane and prune juice now, it's all over.  The Village People may all be dead of aids now or whatever happened to them, but their music lives on forever, no matter how cheesy it is.  Long Live Disco!

Monday was the girls track meeting.   I'd just gone to the boys track meeting the Monday before, and since I've had a kid in track for the last 4 years, there really isn't a whole lot I don't know about being a track parent, but I go to the meetings because I should.  Also there was Super Mom.  You remember Super Mom, don't you?  She turned a 20 minute meeting into 45 minutes - it's like she's magic, only not like David Copperfield, but in a more boring, very much less sexy way.  She spent at least 5 minutes wondering about track meets scheduled the same time as state solo ensemble and forensics, on the remote chance that her freshman daughter may possible make it to state for either of those two events and not make a meet.  Deal with it IF it happens, lady.  And don't even get me going on the trainers vs sprinter shoe discussion or the plastic vs rubberized sole debate.  I pretty much wanted to poke out my ear drums with a #2 pencil.